tv The Situation Room CNN December 10, 2012 1:00pm-4:00pm PST
>> at least we'll be able to see it. >> yes, during the day. >> we don't know where it's going -- >> inside the rocket -- 29 feet long. so near as big as the shuttle. the shuttle's four times bigger than that. >> space geeks. chad myers, thank you so much. that will do it for me. i hope you have a wonderful monday. i'm brook baldwin at the cnn headquarters in atlanta. let's go to washington with wolf blitzer. "the situation room" begins right now. brook, thanks very much. happening now, the president of the united states steps into a very intense political fight in michigan and he's definitely taking sides. we're also looking into what's behind the dramatically lower prices showing up at gas stations near you. and life-saving television. we have an amazing look at an underground tv channel run by rebel fighters in one of the most dangerous cities in the world.
i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." we begin with president obama getting into a new fight with republicans and it's a fight he may actually lose. this afternoon in detroit, the president blasted a package of anti-union bills. michigan republicans, governor, is ush pushing through his state's legislature. >> what we shouldn't do, i just got to say this, what we shouldn't be doing is trying to take away your rights to bargain for better wages and working conditions. >> even though the cheering went on for nearly half a minute, it looks like those anti-union bills may, in fact, have enough support to pass michigan's legislature, despite union threats of massive
demonstrations. cnn's alison kosik is in the capital, lance, watching what's going on. explain what the fight is all about, why it's so intense. >> reporter: well, first of all, here at the michigan state capit capital, it's more about the calm before the storm. those demonstrations of thousands of people descending on the state capitol. police are gearing up for what's coming up tomorrow when the votes are expected to happen. what this is all about is the right to work law. if this law passes, what it essentially means is that workers would not be required to pay union dues as a condition to hold a job. this is a big deal to michigan. you have to remember, michigan was built on unions. the united autoworkers union was born here. unions are really the backbone to this state. so it would be a huge blow if this law passes. not only here in michigan but across the country. because it could really undercut, has the possibility of undercutting the power and influence of unions.
once again, not just here in michigan but across the country. this really goes beyond politics. andrew potter, talked with him today, he's in a union, he's a republican, and he's against this republican-backed measure. >> it's a smoke and mirror attempt to take away the representation that these members and these hard working class citizens are going to receive. >> reporter: but those in favor of this bill say, you know what, it does give workers the freedom to choose what they want to do. whether or not they want to join a union and pay those union dues. and they say it also grows jobs. >> it actually makes unions more accountable and makes them more responsive to their members because now the unions can't take them for granted. remember, right to work doesn't affect collective bargaining in any other way except for take away the union's ability to fire a worker for not paying them. they can still bargain over hours, wages and working
conditions. >> reporter: so the vote expected to happen tomorrow, starting at 10:00 a.m. the house and the senate will each vote on each other's measures. also, demonstrations expected to begin. the opening salvo happening 9:00 a.m., down this street right here. thousands are expected to march, starting here, all the way up to lansing city hall. that would be just the beginning of the day. wolf. >> alison on the scene for us, thank you. the president's taking a political risk by getting into michigan's union fight at the same time he's locked in a major battle in washington over raising ta spending cuts and more. let's bring in our chief white house correspondent jessica yell be. jessica, is it surprising the president decided to speak today on this right to work issue? >> reporter: wolf, the white house has come out very strongly against right to work laws. and the unions have been strong supporters of the president. but it is quite surprising the president was so forceful in
his, expression of support today, after he had a more muted response during the election, after the scott walker recall effort. today, the president made his first comments on the michigan law, and it was indeed a forceful show of support for organized labor. here is the president. >> you know, these so called right to work laws, they don't have to do with economics. they have everything to do with politics. what they're really talking about is giving you the right to work for less money. you only have to look to michigan, where workers were instrumental in reviving the auto industry to see how unions have helped build not just a stronger middle class but a stronger america. >> reporter: now, i referenced it earlier, wolf, but, remember, back before the president was re-elected in november, in wisconsin, unions were fighting to recall their governor, scott walker, after he pushed and
passed some anti-union legislation. the president, he took some heat from democrats for not doing more to back that recall effort. and now the president's being re-elected in part with some strong support of union workers and now he's not holding back. wolf. >> so jessica, what's the political impact here for the president and for his labor union supporters? and they were very instrumental in helping him get elected and re-elected. >> reporter: that's right. the election results tell the story. president obama won the union vote handily. nationwide, he won 58% of the union vote. compared to governor romney who got 40%. and unions also contributed heavily to donations and get out the vote efforts. $143 million they gave overall in the 2012 campaign to general candidates and elections in general. only 4% went to republicans.
the rest went to democrats and outside spending groups. so you can see the impact they had across the board it and, wolf, while michigan wouldn't be the first state to pass right to work laws, in fact, 23 other states already have right to work laws. so tomorrow michigan could become the 24th state to have one. as the birthplace for the organized labor movement in the u.s., passage for this law in michigan would be a body blow to the labor movement in the u.s., wolf. >> certainly would be. thanks very much for that, jessica. the president's due back here in washington just in a little while from michigan. his focus will be back on trying to get a deal with the house speaker john boehner over taxes and spending cuts. our chief political analyst gloria borger is here to take a closer look at the agreements, the disagreements, i guess there's more disagreements than agreements. let's step back and see where these two sides stand, gloria. >> let's step back from the cliff here for a minute, wolf. and you'll see that on tax,
which is of course the crux of this matter, there's a huge difference between congressional republicans who want to raise $800 billion over ten years from tax increases. and of course the white house that wants to, you know, basically double that. i mean, the white house says, we need to get more revenue from taxes. if you break apart these tax number, take a look, because of course we know, the big issue, the theological issue here, wolf, is raising rates. the white house says let's raise them back to bill clinton's days. and the republicans of course say, no way, let's not raise those rates. here's what's really interesting to me, though. both sides say in the future they want to do the same thing. they want to cap deductions and close loopholes. on the wealthy. they both want to do that. now, the democrats want to increase the capital gains taxes. republicans say no capital gains changes. so, wolf, the point here is that ironically, if they can get past this problem, you know, and
maybe agree to the 37% level or so, and can get past the rate issue, ideologically, then the larger issues would almost be easier for them to tackle as they take care of tax reform. by the way, if they do tax reform, you could raise the rates now and then lower them as part of tax reform, which of course would flatten rates for everybody, as you close those loopholes. >> capital gains, they want to increase capital gains taxes and republicans say no change. >> no change. but, again, not that terribly far apart if they can get past this. >> if they've got a good meeting here. if they're bridgeable, these differences. if there's some good will to compromise. there's some other major differences when it comes to health care spending. >> there are. again, look at the difference between the republicans and the democrats. i mean, what the republicans are saying right now is if they're going to do anything on taxes, and this is some of them, they want to show a little leg from
the democrats about what are you going to do on health care savings. that would mean, wolf, doing things which the president has talked about in the past, which is increasing the medicare eligibility age, say, gradually, from the age of 65 to 67, changing the way we compute increases in social security benefits. >> cost of living adjustments. >> that's right. changing the calculation we use for that. so, again, there are ways that both of these groups can come together. the white house right now sees its savings largely coming from health care providers and not touching entitlements. but in the long term, there can be some agreement on this. we know the president and john boehner have sort of almost been there in the past when they almost did their grand bargain. >> is it going to come down to these two men, the president and the house speaker, working out a deal? because even if they do, can john boehner deliver? >> well, it's a question, if he doesn't have a revolt on his
hands. so far, outside conservative groups are saying don't touch those rates. but inside the republican caucus right now, they're remaining pretty silent. and the democrats, the president has the same problem in many ways than john boehner has. because he's going to lose a lot of his base -- >> if there's entitlement cuts. >> if there's entitlement cuts. and john boehner is going to lose a lot of his base if you raise tax increases. so both of these men are in the same political position, if you will. the president clearly has more leverage, won the election. but this is not without political risk for both of them. after all, isn't that what leadership's about sometime, taking a political risk? >> but we'll see, this is a critical week, this week right now. gloria, thanks very much. we're also getting word of a big move by the national republican party. they're trying to understand why so many of their candidates lost
this year. what needs to change in order for the party to stay relevant. one of the people who's leading the effort joins me next. stand by for that. later, new details of a daring rescue that saved an american from the taliban but cost the life of a u.s. navy s.e.a.l. [ male announcer ] red lobster's hitting the streets to tell real people about our new 15 under $15 menu. oh my goodness! oh my gosh, this looks amazing! [ male announcer ] our new maine stays! 15 entrees under $15, seafood, chicken and more! oo! the tilapia with roasted vegetables! i'm actually looking at the wood grilled chicken with portobello wine sauce. that pork chop was great! no more fast food friday's! we're going to go to red lobster. yep. [ male announcer ] come try our new menu and sea food differently! and introducing 7 lunch choices for just $7.99. salad, sandwiches, and more. and introducing 7 lunch choices for just $7.99. online outfit
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earlier today, the republican party announced a major effort to figure out why the 2012 election went so very wrong for some of their candidates, including their presidential nominee. the eight-part effort will look at failures in the party's ground game, as well as its message, its fund raise, other campaign finance issues. it will also take a closer look at the racial changes in the u.s. electorate, the impact of
third party group, the presidential primaries and what the democrats did right. one of the co-chairs who will lead the effort is the former bush white house press secretary ari fleisher who is also a cnn contributor. ari, thanks so much for coming in. >> thank you, wolf. >> the rnc communique or press release, rnc launches new initiative to grow the party and win. all of these were like technical issues though, the eight points. i don't see any effort to rethink policy matters on sensitive issues, some of which clearly hurt republicans, including the presidential nominee this time. is your mandate also to look at changes in sensitive policy areas? >> wolf, i want to say when you look at overall messaging, that's a technical issue. that's a very important major issue. it's one of the things that either pulls people towards a party or drives people away from a party. in terms of specific policies, you know, congress has the lead on that, the republican national committee does not. but i think you can assume
there's going to be some messaging around the things that conservatives believe in that we need to do better and do stronger. >> so for example, on the sensitive issue like same sex marriage, gay marriage, will it be your mon date to take a look and see whether or not republicans should rethink their opposition to gay marriage? >> no, wolf, as i purview, we'r going to go down that road. president bush is the one who said this, family values don't stop at the rio grande. that was his approach to hispanic issues. he got 40% of the hispanic vote. in this cycle, we got 27%. i think a lot of republicans do, there's a lot you can do to attract people, to talk with people, to identify with the needs and concerns of people, in a way that grows a party. you don't have to change your ideology. the ideological issues are important because the exit polls
found out 35% of americans identify as conservative, just 25% as liberal. we remain a center right country. but republicans are losing elections. >> i asked -- >> i think, wolf -- i think we have an intellectual and political responsibility to examine ourselves and find out why. >> because every four years the republican party, like the democratic party, they have a platform in which they do spell out the republican party's position on these sensitive issues. one of the most sensitive, you raised it, immigration reform. should the republican party, in order to attract more hispanics, for example, reach out and support comprehensive immigration reform, including a pathway to citizenship for 11 million or 12 million illegal immigrants here in the united states? >> yeah, nothing's changed since my last answer. the policy issues are going be to handed through the congress and elected representatives the people. we still have an obligation to look at the party mechanics. and the overall messages. that's the charge of this group.
>> i'll read to you a line from maureen dowd's column in "the new york times" yesterday. she was talking about the future of the republican party. you guys are going to be taking a closemayans were right, as it turns out, when they predicted the world would end in 2012. the world of arrogant, uptight, entitled, bossy, retrogressive white guys. when it came to white guys, the republicans still do well. >> that's why i salute chairman wright's pribus for forming this. if you don't change with a country while maintaining your countries and your ideology but making those principles more believable, you're not doing
your job. ronald regular be wasagan was a that. keep a conservative base and make it attractive to the middle. there's room to be a conservative party that has ideas thidea s ideas that sell not only with the conservative base but with a group much bigger because the ideas are good ones. we cannot just be a party of white people. when reagan was elected, 88% of the voters were white. today, it's 72%. you do the math. >> how do you go out and reassure nonwhites out there, whether it's hispanics, african-american, that the republican party is a big tent, all-inclusive kind of party? reagan, you point out what he used to talk about. >> yeah, well first of all, you have to have candidates who don't make tragic mistakes. i'll go right to indiana and missouri. we repelled women, our candidates there did, with the statements that they made. >> about rape? >> they lost elections that absolutely should have been won.
with the statements they made about rape in missouri. so that's a part of this too. the way republicans present their ideas, we have the best ideas. we have the ideas that give people a chance to climb the economic ladder and make it in this country. that's our message. that's a message that resonates everywhere. but you have to let people know you care about them. you have to let them know that their life is important to you. the things they're going through, the suffering, are the things you can identify with, and you have the best solution to them. my issue sometimes is we talk too much like accountants and not enough about people who care about other people's futures. that's where the republican party has got to keep its ears open. weem g we've got to learn, wolf. we lost in 2012 in senate races we should have won, both tea party candidates and mainstream candidates. >> when will you come up with new recommendations?
>> i'm sorry? >> when are you going to come up with new recommendations? >> we're going to do this for about three or four months. i think the recommendations will be ready to go to the chairman in the late winter, early spring time frame. >> ari fleisher, thanks very much. we're watching several developments in syria right now. including an effort to save innocent lives via a secret television channel that the government can't stop. i heard you guys can ship ground for less than the ups store. that's right. i've learned the only way to get a holiday deal is to camp out. you know we've been open all night. is this a trick to get my spot? [ male announcer ] break from the holiday stress. save on ground shipping at fedex office. [ male announcer ] break from the holiday stress. social security are just numbers thinkin a budget.d... well, we worked hard for those benefits. we earned them. and if washington tries to cram decisions about the future... of these programs into a last minute budget deal... we'll all pay the price. aarp is fighting to protect seniors with responsible...
risking their lives to report the story in syria's biggest city. here's cnn's ivan watson. >> reporter: it's become a fixture in syria's largest city, "aleppo today." an underground tv channel broadcasting to a battle-scarred city. [ shelling ] >> we are the first or the only tv broadcast iing for aleppo. >> reporter: with its 24-hour slide show of the city in happier times "aleppo today" doesn't look like much but its news ticker is a vital source of information, say residents living in a city under siege. >> it's the local news, what's happening inside aleppo, on the streets, what's happening, the demonstration, the shell, the bombing. everything. >> reporter: the reports are prepared by refugees like ahmed, a former baker turned journalist. >> this one is 18 people was
dead yesterday in aleppo and countryside. those are the names of the people who died in that neighborhood. >> reporter: "aleppo today" broadcasts from an undisclosed location in a country neighboring syria. why do you have to work outside of syria? >> for our safety. >> reporter: you have to be sneaky to put this out. >> you have to be sneaky, undercover. >> reporter: they send the signal to two other countries before hitting syria. how do you get the information every day? >> we have about 40 reporters inside the city and 30 outside. and they gather the information. >> reporter: information, for example, about the location of deadly snipers. >> so we warn people that in
this building there's a sniper. in this neighborhood, there's a sniper. don't go this way. >> reporter: the journalists here insist "aleppo today" is apolitical and funded only by concerned syrian businessmen who also plan to launch an fm radio station. >> after two weeks, i can, we will be online by fm air waves. >> reporter: it's all part of a wider war being fought in the streets and over the air waves for the future of syria. ivan watson, cnn. >> as far as syria's concerned, the u.s. government is expected to declare one of the radical rebel groups in syria fighting the bashar al assad government a foreign terrorist organization. our arwa damon is inside syria right now. we're going to get her reaction. that's in the next hour. also, if secretary of state
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to shape our curriculum, so that when you find the job you want you'll be a perfect fit. let's get to work. all right, let's get right to our strategy session. joining us, cnn political contributor, the democratic strategist donna brazile. also, the former bush speechwriter and the author of the best selling e-book, "why romney lost," david fromme joining us as well. you saw the poll in terms of favorability ratings. hillary clinton way up there. she's above 60%. higher than the president. higher than vice president biden. higher than any of the potential
2016 republican candidates out there. first, you think she's going to run? >> i don't know yet, wolf. what i know is that she's committed to, you know, closing out her tenure at the state department, doing a great job at the state department. perhaps resting a little bit. we'll see what happens in 2014/2015. let me just say this, as vice chair of the party, there will probably be other candidates who will also seek the presidency in 2016. >> we'll get to that. do you think she's going to run? >> i have no idea. every smart person says she will. it sounds like it, but the challenge for republicans is to stop thinking so much about who and to start thinking more about what. what will the democratic message be in 2016 and in the four years leading up and what will the message the republicans have now? that was such an important message you raised in your last interview, can we start talking about ideas and not just about personalities. >> because most of these -- the autopsy, if you want to call it that, what the republican national committee is now going to do, why they didn't win the presidency, why they lost in
some of these key battleground states, why they lost in some of these key house and senate races, is all about sort of process as opposed to the substantive policy issues that they may want to change. jody canter wrote this in "the new york times," mrs. clinton may find that her freedom comes with one huge constraint. the more serious she is about 2016, the less she can do, no frank, seen it all memoir, no clients, commissions or controversial positions that could prove problematic. now, i'm one of the so called smart guys that david was talking about. i think she is going to run. i think she wants to be the first woman president of the united states. she's going to have to be cautious in what she does over the next year or two. >> any candidate has to be cautious. >> well, if she's never going to run for office again, she doesn't have to be cautious. >> she's well known. people know her across the board. there are a sizable number of republicans who like her. the reason why people like her is because they know she's a principled person. somebody who believes in human rights. equality of all people.
she'd make a terrific president of the united states. i don't think she has to be confined by those limitations miss canter wrote in her article. >> the problems we face in 2016 are so different from the problems we face now. the last four years were a time of stathis. the obama law is going to be the law of the land. all the problems will be visible to everybody. it will probably be an economic recovery even more narrowly shared than the last economic recovery. what do we do about stagnating wages for people over the time of economic growth? we're going to have debates over carbon and we'll have debates over energy self-sufficiency that are different than those over the past four years. >> all of those issues, hillary clinton will come out on top, because she has been a strong advocate for climate change, for many values americans support
today. >> here's carville and newt gingrich on what would happen if she decides to run. >> the democrats want her to run. don't just mean a lot of democrats. i mean a whole lot of democrats. like 90% across the country. we just don't -- we just want to win. we think she's the best person. >> she's very formidable as a person. is a very competent person. she is married to the most popular democrat in the country. they both think it would be good for her to be president. that makes it virtually inpossible to stop her for the nomination i think. >> all right, donna, you said other democrats would challenge her. like who? >> well, look, vice president biden may be interested in the post. governor cuomo. you have elizabeth warren.gilli. governor o'malley. look, until they know what secretary clinton will do, they have every right to begin planning their own campaigns. >> you think other serious democrats like that would challenge clinton? >> why not? if you're on the list of the 10
or 12 most likely people to be the next president of the united states, who can say no? i want to pick up on something gingrich said there. when he talked about the popularity of bill clinton. that's not because of the color of clinton's eyes or the cut of his suit suits, that's bought cn had real economic growth that benefited most people. you have to keep your eye on that prize. what is going to be our answer as republicans to the party of raising living standards for most people. >> we have no idea what's going to happen between now and 2016. the world could change for all we know. the economic situation would change dramatically. we have no way of knowing. but it's fun to talk about the possibility of hillary clinton running for president -- >> i'm excited about the prospect that she might run again. >> are you surprised the president once again today went to michigan? it looked like a campaign rally. he's out there campaigning now for his position on the fiscal
cliff and also campaigning against the anti-union vote that's coming up tomorrow in michigan. >> he certainly owes organized labor. and obviously if you're a democratic president and there's a ballot like this, certainly hard to see why you would stay away, especially in a state like michigan. but i think what we are seeing is the president applying pressure to the republicans and looking for wedges. one of the wedges we're going to see is the republicans who feel more strongly about the income tax versus republicans who feel more strongly about the capital gains tax. the president may offer different kind of concession, to those two groups. >> the criticism he's getting is instead of going out there and ka paining in michigan and elsewhere, bring these republicans over to the white house, get in a room, work out this deal this week as opposed to next week and resolve it so the country doesn't go over the fiscal cliff. >> where's congress right now? they're home. where's congress most of the time? at home. president obama is going where the votes are. he's going to lobby members of congress.
where theically ay live and whe work. also, he has long opposed right to work laws. he believes they undermine wages for our workers and undermine benefits so he's also right to go to michigan and stand up for worker's rights. >> he's not negotiate, he's pressuring. president obama is working on the philosophy, this line attributed sometimes to al capone, you get more with a kind word and a gun then you get with a kind word alone. what he's doing is, he's got the advantage, the upper hand, putting his gun on the table. this is not about negotiation. he's not interested in an answer with republicans. he's interested in breaking the republicans on the tax pledge. that's his goal and he's applying pressure to attain it. >> we'll see if he succeeds or fails. thanks, guy, so much. a crash in gas prices as americans hit the roads for the holidays. up next, we're to tell you what's behind the welcome drop at the pump. ali velshi has the information.
good news for holiday travelers. gas prices are plummeting, down 46 cents a gallon over the past two months it the average price of a gallon of regular gasoline is now down to $3.38 a gallon. and joining us now, our chief business correspondent ali velshi in new york. ali, what's going on with this united states iss sudden drop in the price of gasoline? >> three things. one is superstorm sandy took a lot of cars off the road. it really reduced demand for gasoline as you know. until recently there have been a number of gas stations in the northeast still without gas. people after realizing they weren't going to have as easy a time getting gas decided to make other plans it the storm itself took some roads out and took some people off the road.
number two, there were some refinery issues in california going on at the same time. they've been resolved. that's put more gasoline online. the third thing, this one's important, crude oil prices, which are really the underlying feedstock for gasoline, crude oil prices have remained low. as we are concerned about the fiscal cliff and a slowdown in the world's economy and in asia and in europe. so these are the three factors that have come together to give us a sustained drop in the price of gasoline almost over the last three weeks, wolf. >> is this a short-term development? what's in store over the longer term? >> we're into that lower driving season. obviously, spring and summer are bigger driving seasons. you'll see a pickup in demand when we get back into spring. that typically happens. a lot of it depends on the price of oil. that depends on what happens in the world economy. there are two things happening. one is the fiscal cliff. and the recession in europe. if things continue to slow down economically, we'll see less demand for gasoline.
if there's more tension in the middle east, we'll see higher prices for oil. those are two things that could affect the price of oil, which will affect the price of gasoline. one thing to remember, that over the last ten years or so, wolf, demand for gasoline has started to drop off, as cars have become more efficient and as we've become better conservers. you'll probably see the price of gasoline head up again in the interim but for the time being you're probably looking at lower gas prices, wolf. >> we'll take it, no one's complaining obviously. thanks very much. a u.s. navy s.e.a.l. rescue in afghanistan turns tragic. we have details on the member of that elite s.e.a.l. team killed while saving an american held captive. impact wool exports from new zealand, textile production in spain, and the use of medical technology in the u.s.? at t. rowe price, we understand the connections of a complex, global economy. it's just one reason over 75% of our mutual funds beat their 10-year lipper average. t. rowe price. invest with confidence.
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a navy s.e.a.l. raid in afghanistan successfully frees a captive. now, the latest details from the pentagon, barbara starr. what do we know? >> reporter: wolf, consider this. if you think the war in afghanistan is wrapping up, 300 have lost their lives so far in that war. the latest case is a young man who gave his life for another american he did not know. it was a daring high-stakes raid to free american delip joseph, who had gone to afghanistan to help provide medical care in one of the most dangerous regions in the war-torn country. >> we're really hoping that we can instill hope into a country that has been dealing with conflict over the last 30 years. >> reporter: joseph was one of three staffers from the relief organization morningstar
development. kidnapped last wednesday, while returning from a visit to a rural medical clinic in eastern kabul province. they were stopped by armed men and taken to an area about 50 miles from the pakistan border. then, this weekend, joseph was freed from captivity by the same unit of navy s.e.a.l.s that killed osama bin laden. it's not clear if any of the s.e.a.l.s on this raid were on the bin laden mission. in rescuing joseph, tragedy. 28-year-old petty officer 1st classic in lass checque was killed in the ensuing firefight. checque, a ten-year veteran, part of the legendary s.e.a.l. team six, an elite counterterrorism team specially trained for hostage rescue. seth jones was an adviser to special operations forces in afghanistan. >> these are the kinds of situations that individuals like s.e.a.l.s have been in, whether it's afghanistan or pakistan or
iraq or off the coast of somalia. they're putting themselves in harm's way and sometimes they die. >> reporter: it was a risk general john al bleallen, the t commander, took in ordering the rescue when intelligence showed that joseph was in imminent danger of injury or death. jones says there are several things the s.e.a.l.s would have known before they went in. >> you need to collect intelligence on the target to see where they're at, who's guarding it, what the terrain is like. second, you've got to look at how you're going to insert into that area. and then you're going to look at how to actually get on to the target. >> reporter: but, you know, wolf, in the coming year, as the number of troops, u.s. troops in afghanistan, decline, as it goes down, the risk to american civilians of being kidnapped may indeed grow. there will be less u.s. troops available to come help them if, heaven forbid, they do get kidnapped. since 2000, about 3 dozen
civilians kidnapped in afghanistan. wolf. >> given the dangers, are pentagon official, other u.s. official, urging american, despite the good intention, to stay away from these very dangerous areas? >> reporter: well, there have been cautions for years, especially aid workers who typically travel with very minimal security, with a very low footprint. because they're out there to do their good works and not to show any inadvertent hostilities. so these aid workers are always at risk. they have suffered a lot over the years in afghanistan. they are always told to be careful, wolf. >> they should be, all right, thanks very, barbara starr. millions of fans are mourning the death of the mexican-american singer and reality tv star jenni rivera. what a tragic death. >> another sad story. investigators are trying to determine what caused the plane crash that killed jenni rivera and six others in mexico after a weekend concert there.
43-year-old rivera was one of the top stars of the music called bandi. she sold millions of records and once told cnn how she sold cans for scrap metal at the flea market to help make ends meet. she leaves behind five children. former south african president nelson mandela is said to be doing very well. the 94-year-old leader's hospitalized in pretoria for a medical issue the government says is consistent with his age. 19 years ago today, mandela received the nobel peace prize for his human rights contributions in south africa where he spent 27 years in prison as retribution for fighting racial segregation. mcdonald's says sales are up and it's credited a limiting time offering. the credit bacon cheddar sandwich. the cbo, as it's called, is a big factor, according to the fast food chain, which says key global sales rose 2.4% last
month. in october, mcdonald's saw its first monthly decline in nearly a decade. the cbo here in washington is the congressional budget office. i don't think mcdonald's was -- >> i think it was different -- >> they had a different idea in mind. >> when i first saw cbo, i said, congressional budget office. >> it's very well respected so i guess it goes well with a hamburger. two australian deejays responded to the worldwide outrage over their prank that embarrassed the royal family and apparently caused a nurse to kill herself. let's say you want to get ahead in your career. how do you get from here... to here? at university of phoenix we're moving career planning forward so you can start figuring that out sooner. ln fact, by thinking about where want your education to lead, while you're still in school, you might find the best route... leads somewhere you weren't even looking. let's get to work.
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that hoax call is tied to the death of a nurse who took that call. the australian network is shutting down their show. max foster is joining us from london. what are these two deejays saying? >> what they're saying is something deeply emotional. they did a round of tv interviews for the australian tv media. and it was pretty hard to watch in places. they finally broke their silence. one of the presenters actually had to ask them if they were stable enough to answer these questions. but they did answer the questions. and here's a bit of sound from one of the interviews that they did. >> shattered. gutted. heart broken. obviously, you know, our deepest sympathies are with the family and the friends. of all those affected. and, you know, obviously, mel and myself are incredibly sorry for the situation and what's
happened. a and, and, you know, we hope they're doing okay and they're getting the love and support they deserve and need right now. i mean, personally, i'm -- >> they are under a huge amount of pressure. if you look at the social media comments around them, the comments on the station's facebook page, it's really, really powerful stuff. you can see how they've been affected by this. they didn't intend to kill this nurse but they are a part of this story and they're struggling to deal with it. they're getting the support though, the radio station. the show has been canceled. >> has the nurse's family, max, reacted? >> the nurse's family are asking for privacy but they did come up to london today. british mp has taken up their case and has been speaking on their behalf. it was another emotional
occasion. you saw effectively keith and the husband of jacintha and her two children standing there. and you can imagine what's going through their minds. and he was actually quite tough on the hospital here. the mp talked about how the deejays in australia are getting a lot of support from their bosses but the hospital hadn't offered support to jacintha's family in the same way and they need counseling and support. they need media help as well. the hospital denies all of this, saying they have offered support, they just haven't had a response from the family. a big blame game. a lot of people suggesting a witch-hunt against the deejays involved here. a bit of a war of words between the british and australian media around this as well, wolf. >> max foster on top of the story for us, max, thanks very much. you're in "the situation room." happening now, the u.s. names a new terrorist group. who are they, and where are they
operating? also, new information coming into the "situation room" about the crash that killed a latina superstar. we're now learning the jet suffered substantial damage in a previous accident right here in the united states. and bob costas is now speaking out to our own piers morgan about the huge controversy he sparked with his halftime remarks about gun control. piers is here this hour to tell us what costas is saying right now. we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com they're some of the fiercest rebel fighters in syria, wage ago deadly battle to topple the regime of president bashar al assad but the u.s. now says they are also terrorists. we're now learning secretary of
state hillary clinton has declared a hard-line islamist organization called the al nus ar ry front a terrorist group with ties to al qaeda. cnn's nick payton walsh is joining us from beirut. what are you picking up over there, nick? >> reporter: wolf, in many ways, a more effective part of the syrian rebel movement. behind many of the victories we've seen over the past few weeks, particularly one in aleppo, overrunning much of a base there. what's interesting is how the u.s. government has chosen to designate them. they've not said the al nusri front is a whole new separate terrorist entity. they said the al nusri front is another name for al qaeda in iraq. remember them four to five years ago behind the deaths of so many american soldiers there. that of course points out to what they believe are many of the links between those insurgents in iraq who they now think are fighting with syrian rebels against president bashar al assad. al nusri, radical, behind suicide bombings which many say
have caught civilians in their blast. this move complicating because it says to many syrians while america supports you and your rebellion against president assad it doesn't like about 10% of the fightings doing the most effective job in that fight. wolf. >> what's the bottom line over there? what do the rebel, the opposition forces say? how are they reacting to this news about the al nusri group, one of the leading rebel organizations over there, now being declared formally by the united states a terrorist organization with ties to al qaeda? >> reporter: well, certainly on line we've seen some reaction from some syrians deploring this move. of course i think on the ground it's fair to say there's been much reporting from arwa damon in aleppo saying some people there find sympathy with the al nusri front. they provide services. i've seen videos of them handing out food. there is much sympathy for these individuals. they're accused of radicalism,
of ties to al qaeda certainly, but that's not really going to make life much easier for the united states in the months ahead. they're desperate to influence the fighters on the ground. to try to be sure they have some kind of voice in the post-assad world. many think inevitabfvitableably president assad will fall. >> what deeply concerns u.s. officials is a group like the al nusri group getting their hands on some of those chemical weapons stockpiles in syria. our senior international correspondent arwa damon is on the ground inside syria. she has more on the al nusri front. the group declared a terrorist organization by the obama administration. >> reporter: they're incredibly secretive. it's very difficult to actually get access to their leadership. we have been trying that. when you speak with the other fighting units, they have enormous respect for the al nusri front's capabilities because their fighters are
deemed to be the most professional, the most dedicated. they're often on the deadliest and most dangerous front lines. even amongst ordinary activists who most certainly do not support al nusri's ideology, that same level of respect is echoed with people believing that, were it not for the presence of the al nusri front, they perhaps would not have been able to see the success they've seen so far in the battle for aleppo. these are the dynamic, that the country's going to have to deal with moving forward. it is important to point out, though, when it comes to the u.s. designating the al nusri front as a terrorist organization, that is not going to change the battlefield dynamicings in syria. the opposition activist, the free syrian army, do not feel at this stage the u.s. has any right to begin meddling in the internal affairs happening here. trying to shift the dynamic, of this nation. since they view america as very much choosing to take a sidelines role and effectively being as responsible for the
deterioration of the situation here as the assad regime itself is, wolf. >> as the civil war rages on, winter is now setting in. and the toll on the population is growing. once again, here's arwa. >> reporter: crammed inside a tiny two-room home, the adults say they can handle the hunger. it's the children they worry about. there are 13 of them. as relatives moved in together after one family's home was destroyed. when we asked the kids what they ate today, the response is nothing. mohammed's son tells us, "today, i sent my brother to get bread at 6:00 a.m." look, it's 3:00 p.m. right now and he hasn't gotten any. the kids haven't eaten." the power is out, as it has been for weeks. and now the water is cut as well. there is a growing sense of
desperation among people here. stalked by both hunger and danger. "god gave me these children. these children are my responsibility," the man laments. now i can't even get them a loaf of bread. before, i could. now, i can't. the price of bread has skyrocketed due to a flour shortage. along with it, a population's anger. the situation is so dire that people say society is beginning to disintegrate. this is yet another bread line. we were just at one further up the road where the crowd ended up mobbing around us, furious. they said that they wanted us to leave because they were fed up with people filming them. they feel as if the world is simply mocking their misery. and just four days, the cost of fuel jumped from 85 syrian pounds to 150. but beyond the now astronomical
cost of survival, it's the constant fear and insecurity that has come to define life here. snipers seemingly everywhere. the threat of random artillery or air strikes constant. and then there is the daily assault on human dignity. in a city once known for its beauty and heritage. children pick their way through streets that are now a massive garbage dump. what makes it more unbearable is that few can see an end in sight. arwa damon, cnn, aleppo. >> and the potential threat of a chemical weapons attack by the syrian regime has the u.s. taking some desperate measures right now, forcing it to rely on rebels who may or may not be trustworthy. brian todd is working this part of the story for us. what's the latest on this entire chemical weapons dilemma the u.s. is saying unfold is syria?
>> sources tell us president assad seems to be backing off at least for now on the possible use of chemical weapons. that is after president obama's warning and a warning from the russians. but it's the prospect of assad taking more losses on the battlefield and losing control of those weapons that has the u.s. and its allies taking some preemptive measures. even if bashar al assad doesn't use chemical weapons in this civil war, there's enough chaos afoot to alarm western officials about what may happen to those munitions. a senior u.s. official and top diplomats tell cnn the u.s. and its allies are using defense contractors to train syrian rebels on how to secure chemical weapons stockpiles. our sources say the training's taking place in jordan and turkey. they tell us the syrian rebels are being trained on how to monitor and secure stockpiles but also on handling the weapons sites and materials. how dicey is it to train syrian rebels on handling the materials? >> i think on the one hand,
these may be individuals that are going to be the first oneses into some of these sites, and they have to know what safety precautions to take. otherwise, they're not going to want to go in and they also have to know what to look for. >> reporter: leonard specter is a chemical weapons expert with the monterey institute. he says western intelligence is confidence the syrians have mustard gas, which is a blistering agent. they may also have a nerve agent that specter says can break down your muscle control and kill you like bug spray kills an insect. if these materials are mishandled -- >> probably what will happen is individuals nearby will be terribly affected, perhaps killed or certainly injured in some serious fashion. but there might not be too much by way of more distant consequences because these would not -- exploded perhaps. >> reporter: sources say one objective of training the rebels is to try to get real-time surveillance of syria's chemical weapons site because the international community would
not have time to prevent the use of the weapons otherwise. there are serious concerns about the relyleability reliability of the rebels. some of whom are suspected of terrorist ties. phillip mudd, a former cia and fbi counterterrorism official, says there's a huge concern over who to trust with chemical weapons. >> when you've got roughly 10% of the opposition in the. s u.s. government is declaring are terrorist group you're going to be concerned. in any case like this, there's a lot of risk. >> reporter: but mudd says it's still better to train the rebels on how to handle those materials than to do nothing. and leonard specter says the u.s. and its allies are likely screening the individuals who are being trained very carefully, wofrl, at least that's the hope. >> despite all that, there's still a potential for these chemical weapons getting into the wrong hands. despite what the u.s. is trying to do. >> reporter: phillip mudd says if the syrian regime loses control of these weapons, that's
a huge worry. if they fall into the hands of others who are not trusted by the u.s. or its allies they could float around the border to iraq or other potentially dangerous places where they don't have control over these things. if assad loses control of these things anytime soon, watch out. >> good point, brian, thanks very much. bob costas ignited a firestorm with his controversial remarks about the gun culture in the nfl. now he's speaking out about the uproar to cnn's piers morgan. piers is standing by to join us live. plus, serious new safety questions about the plane that crashed, killing the spanish language superstar jenni rivera. we know now her jet was more than 40 years old, had problems in the past. should it have been flying? the distances aren't getting shorter. ♪ the trucks are going farther. the new 2013 ram 1500.
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costume malfunction. but the subject this time is deadly serious. in the wake of the murder/suicide by the kansas city chiefs player javon belcher, nbc sportscaster bob costas criticized what he called the gun culture. and he said that -- that he said contributed to the tragedy. he sat down to talk about it with cnn's piers morgan. >> 70% or more footballers apparently carry guns. clearly, most of them have a lot of money. they drive fast cars. they go to nightclubs. they party and all the rest of it. again, i guess it comes back to the overriding sense of the culture of the game is slightly out of control. these statistics for arrests, for example, suggests that. what can you really do about it? >> i'm not sure what can be done about it exactly. the nfl prohibits the carrying of firearms at any facility, practice facility, any event that's connected to the team. you make a public relations appearance. in the stadium.
i don't know how closely they enforce that. they do prohibit it. and they do tell their players in their stated policy that while it is legal to possess a gun, we actually urge you not to. we urge you, if you do possess a gun, that you use it strictly for protection of home and family or possibly if you're a hunter. that it's infinitely more likely that something bad will happen if you're armed than something good will happen. >> piers is joining us now from new york. piers, bob costas has inadvertently become the spokesman for fighting against that so-called gun culture in the nfl. and you asked him about that. let me play one additional clip and then we'll discuss. >> it wasn't my intent to become a spokesperson in any way for this issue. but if, no matter how imperfectly i may have done it a week ago sunday, if this has sparked a conversation and in some small way influenced people's behavior, so much the better. front page of the paper, not the
sports section, front page of the weekend edition, is about guns in the national football league. there is a gun culture in the national football league. >> so, piers, did he talk about the reaction he's received not only nationwide but from within the nfl to his comments? >> well, look, i really admired his courage. you can see, as we finished the interview, he said to me, i'm probably going to get more heat from this. i'm sure he will. i've been debating this on my show for several months. anytime you raise even the debate about gun control in america about any kind you get this fury back at you. i think bob costas knows that but he's prepared to stick his neck out because the sport he loves that he's so expert in, has a gun culture problem. and to pretend otherwise is to ignore the facts. 70% of footballers carry guns. you saw this guy, jovan belcher, who murdered his girlfriend, the mother of his child, and then
himself. he had eight guns. the second amendment, the right to bear arm, every american should have the right to defend themselves. you don't need eight guns. as bob went on to say you don't need high-powered assault weapons to do that. there's a frightening lack of debate in america about this. i was stunned coming from a country that has strict gun control like britain and has 35 to 40 gun murders a year compared to 11,000 in america. i was stunned that after the horrifying scenes in aurora and colorado, and i talked about this with bob costas, that this guy can -- a young man can go and buy four high-powered weapon, thousand, of rounds of ammunition on the internet, go shoot up a movie theater. and the reaction was that there was a 44% spike in gun sales in colorado in the following four weeks. that just cannot be a healthy thing for america. and the lack of any debate also irritates bob costas. and he believes that he's putting the debate out there.
he's called on president obama to now really try to take some decisive action. not to prohibit americans from arming themselves at home to protect their families but to prohibit the wholesale and easy way that you can go out and buy an ak-47, whatever it is you may want. nobody needs that, as he said, outside of the military or the police. >> the argument that i've heard from nfl players, current and former, retired nfl players, these are young guys, they're making a lot of money, they're pretty well known in their chunlt communities. a lot of times they say they buy a gun to protect themselves. because they're afraid of what could potentially happen. what does costas say about that? >> i think it's really a case of bravado, showing off. there's an amazing statistic. 624 arrests of nfl players.
of those, 177 were drink or drug related involving usually driving. we saw this horrifying accident over the weekend with another nfl player, two from dallas cowboys. josh brent was driving the car, allegedly under the influence of alcohol, and his great friend jerry brown also a dallas cowboy, died. something i think is wrong in the culture. as bob costas said. of the nfl. and it is down to the authorities to try and deal with that. he also expanded i thought in a very thoughtful way about what may cause some of these problems. and, you know, there's no doubt the relationship between the heavy impact of these players with their helmet, the concussions that follow. there's now more and more evidence that is leading to genuine psychological damage. there are hundreds of lawsuits outstanding now from former players and their families. you cannot say it, i don't think anymore, wolf, with any credibility, that there is no link between this and some of
the behavioral pattern and dreadful instance you're seeing. bobs cou bob stas came to my show tonight. he came really not to say i hate guns. he says, i respect the second amendment. but he does love his sport. he doesn't like what is happening with the gun culture. and with general behavioral issues which he thinks are all int interwoven with the concussion issues and everything else. he wants the authorities to do something about it. >> he's a great sportscaster. a really smart guy. i'm really looking forward to the interview later tonight, piers. thanks very much. i want to alert our viewers. the entire interview will air tonight at 9:00 p.m. eastern. "piers morgan tonight." up next, a famous new york city landmark, columbus circle, right at the center of a new murder mystery. a man shot in the head in the middle of the day. right outside the time warner center. not very far away, a block or
two away from our new york studios. we have the latest on the manhunt that is now under way. kd cash rewards credit card, i love 'em even more. i earn 1% cash back everywhere, every time. 2% on groceries. 3% on gas. automatically. no hoops to jump through. that's 1% back on... [ toy robot sounds ] 2% on pumpkin pie. and apple. 3% back on 4 trips to the airport. it's as easy as... -[ man ] 1... -[ woman ] 2... [ woman ] 3. [ male announcer ] the bankamericard cash rewards card. apply online or at a bank of america near you.
a brazen daylight shooting on the streets of new york city. we are monitoring that story in "the situation room." what happened? >> absolutely, scary when you hear these details. a law enforcement official tells "the wall street journal," quote, it definitely looks like a hit. police say a 31-year-old black man was unconscious and unresponsive when they found him along 58th street near columbus circle. one of the busiest parts of the city. especially during the holiday shopping season. he apparently was shot in the
head by a gunman who witnesses say jumped into a car and took off. in other news, the national weather service says a tornado may have shut down early this morning in north birmingham, alabama. high winds damaged several houses and downed trees and power lines. there are fortunately at this point no reports of injuries. in venezuela, venezuelan president chavez arrived today in cuba where he's scheduled to undergo another round of cancer surgery. cuba's president met his plane. the socialist leader declared himself cancer free last july and won re-election in october. for the first time ever, chavez is speaking publicly about a possible successor, asking venezuelans to embrace and arrest vice president nicolas madura. if you find iphone's latest maps challenging, it appears you are not alone. police in australia calls apple's map app, quote, potentially life threatening. several drivers had to be
rescued when the map took them miles from their destination into a desert wilderness. some folkings were stranded for a day without food or water. apple has told cnn its working very hard to fix its maps. i think that goes to show it never hurts to have the old handy dandy real physical map in your hand. >> somebody tells you, you make a left turn at this street. >> if you're trying to get into the city and you're amongst the brush, you may have taken a wrong turn somewhere. you may not know her name but she was certainly one of the most influential hispanic women on both sides of the u.s./mexico border. up next, jenni rivera's rise from poverty to superstardom. it's lots of things. all waking up. ♪ becoming part of the global phenomenon we call the internet of everything. ♪ trees will talk to networks
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remote part of the country. first, our senior latin american affairs editor rafael romo is joining us. he has more on the award-winning artist who fans simply called the diva. tell us more about jenni rivera. >> reporter: it was just an incredible life. she was only 43 years old, but already had accomplished quite a lot. a singer, a business woman and as the star of a reality show. she was 43, like i said before, and had five children, two grandchildren, and was just as popular in mexico as she was in her native state of california. ♪ they called her diva. for anyone who ever saw her on stage, it was easy to see why. she sang heart wrenching ballads that spoke to the common woman, especially mexican americans. >> translator: every song, every
lyric, i'm thinking of them. >> reporter: jenny lii rivera w born in long beach, california, to mexican parents. their story, that of many mexican immigrants of humble origins. she spoke about how she sold music records at a los angeles flea market and how the family collected cans for their meager income they could bring in selling the metal. >> translator: it is very flattering when they tell me i'm a great artist, a great entertainer. that when i'm on stage, i can entertain the audience. i can get in the recording studio and come up with a great production. before all of that, i was a business woman. i'm primarily business minded. >> reporter: she sold 15 million records and won two billboard music awards in a career that spanned just over a decade. she was a very successful business woman. she started several of her own companies including jenni rivera enterprises which produced and marketed her own music. a fragrance brand. a jeans factory.
and a tv production company. in october, she was on the list of 25 most powerful hispanic women. she was famous for her electrifying performances on stage. her image battered by scandal. a mother of five, she married three times but the relationships were rocky and caused her much anguish and embarrassment. >> translator: staying defeated, crying and suffering, was not an option. i had to get back on my feet, dust myself off and press on. that's what i want to teach my daughters. >> reporter: during her last interview saturday night, she told mexican media that she needed time to get emotionally well. asked about her christmas plans, she said -- >> translator: familia -- >> reporter: "i want to be with my family, but god only knows what's going to happen." more recently, making held lines in october when she announced her marriage to a pitcher was coming to an end. she's survived by five children, four brothers and her parents.
wolf. >> a great talent, a great loss for so many people. thanks so much, for that, rafal. let's get some more now on the crash. cnn's tori dunn has been working this part of the story for us. >> investigators are at the scene of the crash today. one thing we've learned today is this is not the first incident for this particular jet. early sunday morning, minutes after takeoff, the nevada-based learjet 25 crashed in a remote area of northern mexico. it was headed to mexico city but crashed 70 miles south of monterrey. all seven on board died. personal items including jenni rivera's drive's license wer found in the wreckage. investigators are assisting the mexican government. seven years ago, this same plane was involved in an accident after the pilot lost ability to steer during landing in amarillo, texas. the ntsb report at the time said the plane was substantially damaged. >> the fact it had an accident a
few years ago i'm sure will be a focus. they'll make sure that the maintenance records and the repair records are all looked at carefully. these airplanes can be repaired after substantial damage. >> reporter: john mcraw is a former deputy director of flight standards for the faa. the plane was built in 1969, making it 43 years old. >> age itself is not an indicator of the safety of the airplane. even the older airplanes have to meet safety standards. >> reporter: as investigators piece together what happened, fans are left with this photo, taken minutes before takeoff. and a message from those on board. the caption reads, los almo. it means "i love you all." of course, investigators will be looking at the aircraft's instruments and if it had data recorders. there were no major thunderstorms during that time but the mountainous region where the wreckage is located can really make things more
difficult during this investigation. we're told it could take days for investigators to gather the evidence they need. >> investigation could go on for months and months to determine the caution of this tragic collapse. >> we're told it could go up to ten days for them to actually gather this evidence. if you look at the video, you see all these mountains and people having to climb through. really, the wreckage is scattered for yards and yards beyond the initial point. >> tori, thanks very much. a navy s.e.a.l. killed while trying to rescue a doctor who had been warned against going to afghanistan. should the mission have been undertaken at all? details of the tragedy and the controversy. that's coming up in our next hour. change engineering in dubai, aluminum production in south africa, and the aerospace industry in the u.s.? at t. rowe price, we understand the connections of a complex, global economy. it's just one reason over 75% of our mutual funds beat their 10-year lipper average. t. rowe price. invest with confidence. request a prospectus or summary prospectus with investment information, risks, fees and expenses
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president obama and congress have just three weeks left to find a way to walk the country back from that many looking fiscal cliff. it's hard to know whether any progress is being made. cnn's tom foreman is breaking down what's on the table and the balancing act at stake. >> hey, wolf. what you're looking at here is everything that the federal government spends money on. that scoreboard back there shows you the problem. last year, we spent $3.6 trillion on all of this stuff. but we only brought in $2.3 trillion in revenue or taxes. now, democrats, when they want to solve this deficit, they liked to solve more about that revenue side. they say, let's get the rich to pay more. let's get some more taxes. but republicans, they say, let's look a little bit more at everything in this room, even if we're going to increase revenue. because maybe by doing some s t strategic cutting we can make a bigger difference. you can have dramatic cuts in thing like homeland security and
the energy department and the interior department. if you cut those programs out entirely, yeah, you'd save $80 billion but that's only a small fraction of the deficit. that's why the talk is largely about this back row. where the big ticket item, reside. such as social security, health and human services, medicare, medicaid and defense. each one of these accounts for more than $700 billion in spending. so yeah, if you could find a way to somehow chop about 25% out of each program here, you'd get real savings. about half a trillion dollars. doing that would be unbelievably tough. the simple truth is some of them are protected from cuts. social security is something that democrats and republicans alike have been very afraid to go after. the social programs are very much protected by democrats. and the republicans are equally protected of defense. that's why these talks are so tough. the simple truth is, every program in this room has constituents who will fight tooth and nail to hold on to the
funding. but there is this, if no deal is struck, and the fiscal cliff comes, then $600 billion in automatic tax increases and spending cuts will kick in. that could affect a lot of programs in this room. that, wolf, is going to lead a lot of voters, democrat and republican, unhappy. >> tom foreman. dramatic way of explaining what's going on. love that virtual studio he's got over there. thank you. new clues potentially uncovered in a deadly decades old mystery haunting a reform school. you'll find out what researchers think they have found. that's next. i put away money. i was 21, so i said, "hmm, i want to retire at 55." and before you know it, i'm 58 years old. time went by very fast. it goes by too, too fast. ♪ but i would do it again in a heartbeat. [ laughs ] ♪
researchers may have unkfred shocking new evidence of a mass grave at a now closed florida reform school. where years ago family members say dozens of young boys died or disappeared mysteriously. many still unaccounted for today. cnn's ed lavandera has been working the story for us. >> reporter: this is a story we've been looking into for several years. this follow up is really amazing. the results were announced earlier today. for many people suggest what happened at this school many decades ago was much more sinister than anyone could have imagined. a mystery haunts the ground of this now defunct school for boys in marianna involving teenage boys sent here decades ago, some never seen again.
in recent years former students now in their twilight years have come forward, with horrific stories of punishing abuse doled out by school leaders and friends that vanished, stories told by cnn. they accused former school leaders of beatings, sexual abuse and even murder. which brings us to this cemetery on the school grounds. the bodies of 31 boys are buried here. florida authorities claim they know how all the boys died, some killed in a fire and some in a flu epidemic, nothing criminal. other research shows other bodies could be buried in this area too, and dozens say that's proof of a more sinister story hidden in these woods. back in the early 1960s the leaders of the reform school had a local boy scout troop come in here and clean up the cemetery.
they put up 31 crosses, but now a team of anthropologists over the last year has been going through all of this area, cleared out all of the woods out here. they find the possibility of many more grave shafts, which is leading to the mystery of what happened here. untangling the story may be lost to time. the school closed last year. these events happened from the 1940s to 1960s. most of the school leaders from then have died. but a research project led by university of south florida anthropologist erin kimberly turned up evidence of additional grave sites during months of searching the school grounds. kimerly says as many as 18 more bodies could be buried here and that the research team believes a second cemetery could be hidden on the school grounds. >> we've got something right there. >> we found burials within the marked cemetery, and then we found burials that extend beyond that. >> kimerly has traveled the world investigating war crimes for the united nations, searching for mass graves in places like yugoslavia and peru. have you done just this area, or has -- all of it?
>> all of it. >> reporter: her team used high-tech equipment to scan into the ground. all the red you see suggests the location of possible grave sites. but we won't know for sure unless exhumations are ordered. florida state officials won't comment until they can review kimmerly's findings. >> these are children who came here and died for one reason or another and quite literally have been lost in the woods. it's about restoring dignity and helping -- if not putting a name to them, at least marking them and acknowledging they're here. least marking them and acknowledging that they are here. >> the anthropologist studied historic records and discovered a discrepancy, boys are missing. her brother was sent here in 1940. he dreamed of playing guitar. the 14-year-old had a musician's soul and was shipped to the
reform school and her family never saw him again. the school said that he ran away and she still has a letter sent by the superintendent. >> we appreciate you notifying us immediately if you receive any word or concerning him but smith believes that her brother was already dead. a few weeks later his family was found that his had decomb posed bod was found in a hole by the school. >> they thinked that crawled into a hole and died and that was their official cause of death, death from pneumonia and exposure. >> was that based on any scientific autopsy or -- >> hu-huh. when you looked back, my brother was running out across a field, an open field. and there were three men shooting at him with rifles.
i believe until this day that they shot my brother that night and i think they probably kill canned him and brought him back to the school and buried him. >> against the family's wishes, owen smith was buried on the school grounds. she's never figured out exactly where. no one was ever charged in his death back in 1941, but because of that case along with other alleged abuse and beatings, an investigation was launched in 2008. its report concluded there was no evidence to suggest that any of the deceased died as a result of criminal conduct. the agency also said it couldn't find evidence to prove claims of physical or sexual abuse at the school. but many former students, like robert, say that report is a whitewash coverup. state officials say they stand by the report's findings. >> i'm mad at the state, yes. i'm mad at the state because they let this go on for 68 years and did nothing about it. >> straley says he was beat with a leet they are strap and they
killed some boys and made them disappear. >> it's important to find all of the boys that were buried there. i mean, they are practically crawling out of their graves crying out, help, remember me, you know. >> so, wolf, the florida department of law enforcement is still reviewing the report they got today and in the absence of any additional evidence, we do not anticipate to investigate this matter further. that will anger many former student and family members of those student that went to this school who many are still trying to figure out where their loved ones may have been buried if at all on the school's ground and it would be up to them to ask for exhumations the state of florida is trying to sell this property and it's been tied up in court allowing this work to be done on the school grounds. >> whol would buy that kind of property knowing that there is going to be litigation for so many years to come down the
road? >> exactly. at this point, you know, this story has garnered so much attention there in that area that it would be very hard to imagine that at this point something like that might happen. the thing to watch out for is how families will react to this and whether or not these requests for e. hum magss will come in. >> what a horrendous story. ed lavandera, thank you very much. >> thank you. the gop dismal reaction. stand by for new information. ♪
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case is playing out forgot maul la where is he miis behind bars facing possible deportation. john mcafee's dinner arrives in a paper bag, a reminder of how far the software security invent for is from his home in belize and his life style of money, guns, and girls. the spiral started last month when a 52-year-old american was found shot to death in his home 200 yards from mcafee's place. they had a well-known feud over mcafee's dogs. police came to question mcafee but he had already taken off. >> you are john mcafee? >> i think so, yes. i am john mcafee. >> i found him three weeks later
hiding in a belize city convinced that police would kill him if they found him. even though he had not been named a suspect. >> are you afraid? >> wouldn't you be so? >> he denied any involvement in the death and said that the police were trying to pin the murder on him because he refused to pay them money. >> do you believe this is a vendetta from the government? >> absolutely, sir. >> mcafee hired himself a powerful attorney and felt secure enough to go out in public. >> they have attempted to charge me -- >> it was a mistake. guatemala wasn't the safe haven mcafee thought. authorities arrested him for entering the country illegally and plan to deport him back to belize. mcafee asked for asylum. when the government turned him down, he suddenly fell ill and was rushed to the hospital. doctors diagnosed the
67-year-old as suffering from stress and returned him to detention. >> hello. how are you? >> while his attorney says that at least for now he's been able to stop mcafee's deportation back to belize wrl police are still waiting to question him. >> so a judge has given you a stay? >> yes. yes. yes. >> just what comes next in this murder-turned soap opera, no one can say. mcafee shares something in common with the software he helped to create. staying current requires constant updates. martin savidge, cnn, guatemala city. happening now, the elite navy s.e.a.l.s train for dangerous missions lose one of their own. we're going to find out what the republican party wants to fix first. and christmas in washington goens gangnam style putting
president obama in a sensitive position. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." an american doctor abducted in afghanistan is alive and safe thanks to a dangerous rescue mission by u.s. special forces but his freedom came with a price. we're learning the name of an elite navy s.e.a.l. who was killed in the raid. barbara starr is taking us inside this secret operation. >> if you think the war in afghanistan is wrapping up, 305 american troops lost their lives so far this year. three navy s.e.a.l.s in the last three weeks in various combat missions. the latest, this young man who gave his life for another american he did not know. it was a daring high-stake to free a man who went to
afghanistan to provide medical care in one of the most dangerous regions in the war-attorney country. >> we are hoping that we can instill hope into a country that has been dealing with conflict over the last 30 years. >> joseph was one of three staffers from the relief organization morning star development. kidnapped last wednesday while returning from a visit to a rural medical clinic. they were stopped by armed men and taken to an area about 50 miles from the pakistan border. then, this weekend, joseph was freed from captivity by the same unit of navy s.e.a.l.s that killed osama bin laden. it's not clear if any of the s.e.a.l.s on this raid were in the bin laden mission. but 28-year-old petty officer first-class nicolas check was killed in the ensuing fire fight. check, a ten-year veteran part of the legendary s.e.a.l.s
trained for positive stage rescue. he was an advicer to special operations forces in afghanistan. >> these are the kinds of situations that individuals like be s.e.a.l.s have been in whether it's afghanistan, iraq, or off the coast of somalia. they are putting themselves in harm's way and sometimes they die. >> but it was a risk that general john allen took in ordering the commander when intelligence showed that joseph was in imminent danger of injury or death. jones says there are several things the is, e.a.l.s would have known before they went in. >> if you need to collect intelligence on the target to see where they are at, what the terrain is at, second, you've got to look at how you're going to insert into that area and then you're going to look at how to actually get on to the target. >> in the threat of kidnapping of an american civilians and
other foreigners may only grow in the coming months as there are less american combat troops there to help rescue them when they do get detained or they get into trouble. the state department estimates, wolf, since 2007, some three dozen foreigners have been kidnapped by insurgents. wolf? >> barbara, thanks very much. let's talk more about the role of these elite special forces in rescuing hostages. we're joined by fran townsend. she's the former bush homeland security adviser and a member of the cia external advisory committee. you heard barbara say that it went all the way up to general allen in afghanistan to approve this kind of rescue operation. is that normal? normally the case when they hear that an american is being held hostage and they think they have a chance of receipscuing this individual? >> yes, especially when it's in a war zone it would have gone up to general allen and frankly, wolf, i sat in on many meetings at the white house, inside the
president's situation room, where we talked about hostage rescue m rescue missions outside of a war zone. these things go to the highest level of government and command. they want to look at proof of life. they want to look at the tactical advantage. does the u.s. military have the tactical advantage, is there a likelihood of success that they can extract this hostage without having the hostage be killed and without incurring the sort of tragedy that we've seen here. >> how often do these rescue missions happen? >> not as often as you might think, wolf. of course, if you know someone is alive and they are being held but you don't think there's an imminent threat to life, what you look for is time. time becomes an advantage for the u.s. military because they can pick the time of their choosing when they have the best advantage. what we've heard here is that there was an imminent threat to the doctor and so they chose to launch the mission understanding the very serious risk involved. >> i know dr. joseph was doing important humanitarian work in
afghanistan. he obviously wanted to do the best for young people. but he was in a very, very dangerous environment. take us behind the scenes. what do folks in government tell these humanitarian workers when they go out there, because obviously they know the danger is involved. >> well, of course, wolf. all americans are warned not to travel to various areas, especially like a war zone like iraq and afghanistan. thank you you encourage them to register with the embassy and let them know of their movement when traveling outside of secure areas and then there's not much you can do. when you're confronted with this sort of dilemma, it's always a calculation. you're always looking at, what is the u.s. national interest? here we have u.s. forces on the ground. we are trying to establish safe zones so that the afghan people can get back to some sort of a normal civilian life. so a calculation was made that
it was in the u.s. national interest to try and rescue this doctor. but it really is -- when you see a tragedy like this, you understand, these calculations, these risks that you must assess and sort of balance can have tragic outcomes. >> i know there's another american who's being held in pakistan, a u.s. aide worker who was there for a long time trying to do his best, warren einstein, and he's still being held some place that we have no idea where. >> wolf, that's why i mentioned outside of a war zone you rely on the host government who has the responsibility to work as a partner with the u.s. government to try and get your citizen freed. you know, in this case, i think because we have combat troops on the ground, we -- the u.s. forces were the most capable of doing that because, of course, in any one of these missions, whether inside or outside of the mission, you run the risk that the hostage himself is killed in
the mission so you look at what the likelihood of success. >> fran, thank you very much for that. president obama just got back to washington from the heart of union country where his backers and organized labor are on the brink of a huge defeat. indicate bolduan is here. >> legislature is moving towards final approval of a ban on mandatory union dues that cuts into labor financial power and political influence, mostly in favor, which historically has been in favor of democrats. so the president is now taking sides and weighing into this fight. let's bring in our chief white house correspondent jessica yellin for more on this. jessica, is it surprising that president obama is jumping into this union issue? >> reporter: well, we know how the president feels about this issue. he opposes these laws. but this is the first time he's weighed in on this law in
michigan and i suppose the surprise is just how forcefully he spoke out against the michigan law and, you know, in part you can say maybe because his political considerations are different with the election over, one can see how he could now be more candid. here's what the president had to say earlier today, kate. >> these so-called right to work laws, they don't have anything to do with economic. they have everything to do with politics. what they are really talking about is giving you the right to work for less money. you only have to look to michigan where workers were instrumental in reviving the auto industry to see how unions have helped build not just a stronger middle class but a stronger america. >>. >> reporter: now, come pair that to the president's posture when there was a recall for anti-union legislation.
at that time, the president supported the recall effort. he stood with the unions but the president took a lot of heat from democrats who accused the president of not doing enough to back the democratic challenger. well, now that the president has won both wisconsin and michigan, it sounds like he's a lot more out spoken in favor of the unions, kate. >> and so is there political impact here for the president? is it risky for him to, as you said, be speaking out so forcefully on this issue now? >> reporter: well, the politics of this are pretty straightforward. it's no secret that the unions are with the democrats and with the president. let's look at the results of the 2012 election. the president won the union vote pretty easily 58% of union voters backed the president and 40% backed governor romney. unions were heavy contributors across elections. they ponied up $143 million total in the 2012 elections. only 4% went to republican candidates. the rest went to democrats or
outside spending groups. so they were major players for the democrats in general. and then if you look at this anti- -- this -- what is so-called right to work laws, michigan wouldn't be the first state. 23 other states already have right to work laws. so michigan would be the 24th but meaningful because that is the home, the birth place of the union movement in the u.s. so it would be a body blow to the labor movement in the u.s. >> jessica yellin for us at the white house, thank you so much. >> reporter: thanks. thousands of protesters are expected in the michigan capitol. at least two detroit school districts will close tomorrow because hundreds of teachers are going to lansing to join in the demonstrations. big story. >> and right to law is in effect -- >> right to work in indiana. >> so that put pressure on michigan.
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going to be the first ones into some of these sites and they have to know what safety precautions to take. otherwise, they are not going to want to go in and they also have to know what to look for. >> let's bring in the author and analyst who also knows a lot about weapons of mass destruction. joseph is the president and author of the book "bomb scare." thank you so much for coming in. >> my pleasure. >> if 30 or 40% are acknowledged as part of a terrorist organization, how dangerous is it to train them in dealing with chemical weapons? >> you are not training them. you are obtaining closer contacts with the rebels closer to the u.s. that are -- >> you are going to separate them out? >> you have to separate them out. yes. the coalition of rebel forces did diverse. the u.s. is trying to cut off the al qaeda-like elements and
you're going to have to operate this way if assad falls and that appears to be a matter of weeks or months, you can't send in the 82nd airborne to secure this. you're going to have to use the rebel forces on the ground to go after the -- >> this is sophisticated to -- how do you train these people who basically don't have the expertise? >> it's one of the things working in our advantage. so if a terrorist group were to get ahold of the stockpiles, it's not at all easy to know what to do with it, how to handle it. you might actually end up killing yourself rather than killing others. you want to take the people closest to us, give them the skills that they need to secure the site, stand back until we can get more trained personnel in. >> and there's so much concern over the chemical weapons and their security right now. walk us through the kind of chemical weapons that the assad regime has, how much, and where the real concern is. >> sure. there's major uncertainties in locations, quantities, and toxicity.
some could be quite old. it's been quite clear, we're talking about hundreds of tons of blister agents, such as mustard gas and deadly nerve agents like sarin, possibly vx, a drop on your skin can kill you. it's deliverable in dozens of different ways, including warheads for scud missiles. we believe they have between 100 and 200 of those. while we have some uncertainty about this, you do not want to take this threat likely. this is an arsenal that could kill hundreds of thousands. >> hundreds of thousands of people. >> we know suddam hussein used poison gas in his war against iran, in his war against iraq, the kurds. >> do you believe bashar assad if seen himself on the ropes would use this against his own people? >> it's possible. he doesn't need to do this. he killed 40,000 people already. but these weapons have a unique terror aspect to them.
it can terrorize urban areas even though the casualties are measured in the hundreds, he is desperate. that's why you heard the president go on and warn him and those under his command, if you use these, there will be consequences. you hope that those around him will have a self-preservation principle and not execute on that order. >> you think bashar al assad is toast within a matter of weeks or months? >> clearly the battles are on the outskirts of damascus. rebels are taking over major military bases increasingly well-armed. you can see that we're in the end game right now and that's why you worry that assad might do a desperation move. the equally bad scenario was that he falls, the entire regime collapses and terrorists scoop into the chemical weapons before we can secure them. >> scary all around. joseph, thank you very much.
>> thank you. another big story in the middle east, we're expecting mass rallies in egypt tomorrow by supporters and opponents of president mohamed morsi. this coming saturday, egyptians vote on a constitution that morsi's critics say will mov move egypt back to the dark ages. >> i have spent all of my life for dialogue but we are not going to compromise on our principles. we are at the cross of the road. either a country that is respect women rights for freedom of religion, balance of power, or we're going to have a new dictatorship and obviously that is not the way we would like to accept and would never accept. i'm not talking about, you know, people going to the states or, you know, saying that the media
is blas fem mouse. that's not the kind of egypt that we would like to see. it's a question between whether we're going forward, catching up with the 21st century or going back to the dark ages. >> over the weekend, president morsi canceled a hearing that gave him unchecked power. have you in theed the gas prices are down and they may keep falling. we're going to show you why. ate. prices are down and they may keep falling. we're going to show you why. th prices are down and they may keep falling. we're going to show you why. th prices are down and they may keep falling. we're going to show you why. ths are down and they may keep falling. we're going to show you why. th are down and they may keep falling. we're going to show you why. n js are down and they may keep falling. we're going to show you why. no are down and they may keep falling. we're going to show you why. the are down and they may keep falling. we're going to show you why. th are down and they may keep falling. we're going to show you why. on e down and they may keep falling. we're going to show you why. ran are down and they may keep falling. we're going to show you why. o t are down and they may keep falling. we're going to show you why. t t are down and they may keep falling. we're going to show you why. i ts are down and they may keep falling. we're going to show you why. c t prices are down and they may keep falling. we're going to show you why. e t prices are down and they may keep falling. we're going to show you why. d t
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top stories. >> it's shocking how bra sdplchlt en it was. it happened during the middle of the afternoon in what is considered one of new york city's safest area, near 58th street and 7th avenue. police have not released the name of the victim but he was a 31-year-old man from los angeles. he was approached from behind by the gunman who fired once. they are investigating what they believe is a murder-for-hire. if you can even believe it. former imf boss, dominique strauss-kahn has settled a lawsuit with the new york housekeeper who accused him of assaulting her in his room. strauss-kahn says that it was consensual but it ruined his shot of becoming france's president. there has been a huge drop in gas prices. 46 sentcents a gallon. ali velshi says they could even drop more. >> a lot of it depends on what happens to the price of oil and
that is going to depend on what happens in the world economy. there are two things happening right now that we need to think about. one is the fiscal cliff and recession in europe if things continue to slow down economically, we'll see less demand for gasoline and if there's more tension in the middle east, we'll see higher prices for oil. so those are two things that could affect the price of oil which will affect the price of gasoline. >> the average price at the pump is now down to $3.38 a gallon. the price of a gallon of gas is something that i have always tracked. it's kind of a game i played with my father. who could play the cheapest gas in town. so what went wrong for republicans on election day? the gop is now planning what some are calling an autopsy with prominent members in charge of trying to pinpoint problem areas. that, next. capella university understands rough economic times
apology from the deejays accused of the prank call on the royals. they say they are now the target of a witch hunt. republicans live up to serious mistakes. a new campaign to fix their party. and washington gets a taste of gangnam style. should the president have kept his distance? i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." earlier today the republican party announced a major effort to figure out why the 2012 election went so very wrong for so many of their candidates, including their presidential nominee. the eight-part effort will look at the party ground game, message, fundraising, other campaign finance issues and also take a closer look at the racial changes in the u.s. electorate, the impact of third-party groups, the presidential primaries and what the democrats did right. one of the co--chairs co-chairs is ari fleischer.
thanks so much for coming in. >> thank you, wolf. >> the rnc launches a new initiative to grow the party and win. all of these were like technical issues, though. the eight points i just -- i don't see any effort to rethink policy matters on sensitive issues, some of which clearly hurt republicans, including the presidential nominee this time. is your mandate also to look at changes incense tif policy areas? >> well, when you look at overall messaging, that's a technical issue. that's a major issue. it either draws people towards a party or pulls people away from a party. in terms of specific policies, congress has the lead on that. the republican national committee does not. i think you can assume there's going to be messaging around the things that the conservatives believe in that we need to do better and stronger. >> for example, on the sensitive issue like same-sex marriage, guy marriage, will it be your mandate to take a look and see
whether or not republicans should rethink their opposition to guy marriage? >> well, as i said, that's congress' purview to make the policies. let me give you an example. it's been said in the past that president bush is the one who said this, family values don't stop at the rio grand. that was his approach to hispanic issues and then he got 44% of the hispanic vote. in this cycle we got 27%. i happen to believe and i think a lot of republicans do, there is a lot you can do to attract people and address the needs of people in a way that grows a party. you don't have to change your ideology. and the ideological issue is important because the exit polls found out 35% of americans identify as conservative, just 25% is liberal. we remain a center right country but republicans are losing elections. republicans have -- and i think we have an intellectual and political responsibility to examine ourselves and find out
why. >> because every four years the republican party like the democratic party, they have a platform in which they do spell out the republican party's position on these sensitive issues. one of the most sensitive, you raised it, immigration reform. will -- should the republican party, in order to attract more hispanics, for example, reach out and support comprehensive immigration reform, including a pathway to citizenship for 11 or 12 million illegal immigrant in the united states? >> nothing has changed since my last answer. the policy issues are going to be handled through the congress and through the elected representatives of the people. we still have an obligation, though, to look at the party mechanics, the voter database, the fundraising, and the overall messaging. that's the charge of this group. >> you know, a yesterday she was talking about the future of the republican party and you guys are going to be taking a close look at how to improve the republican party. she writes this, the mayans were
right, as it turns out, when they predicted the world would end in 2012. 2 was just a select world. the gop universe of arrogant, uptight, entitled boss see retrogres sif white guys. the point she was trying to make was when it came to hispanics, african-americans, women, young people, republicans didn't do that well. when it came to white guys, republicans still do well. >> that's why i salute chairman reince priebus for forming this community to take a look at these heart and soul issues to see what makes a party win. america is changing and if you don't change with the country while making the principles morselable, more believable and heartfelt to people in all wings of the country, you are not doing your job. ronald reagan was able to do that, wolf. he was able to keep a very conservative base and make it
attractive to the middle. i think there's room in the republican party to be a conservative party that has ideas that sell, not only with a conservative base but sells with a group that is much bigger because the ideas are good ones. so we cannot be a party of just white people. that's not going to cut it. when ronald reagan was elected, 88% of the voters were white. today it's 72%. you do the math. >> so how do you go out and reassure nonwhites out there whether hispanics, african-americans that the republican party is a big tent, all inclusive kind of party, for example, ronald reagan you point out what he used to talk about? >> well, first of all, you have to have candidates who don't make tragic mistakes and i'll go right to indiana and missouri. repelled women with the statements that they made. lost elections that absolutely should have been won by the republicans candidates with the statements that they made about rape. the way republicans present their ideas, we have the best ideas. we have the ideas that give people a chance to climb the
economic ladder and make it in this country. that's our message and that's a message that resonates everywhere but you have to let people know that you care about them. you have to let them know that their life is important to you and the things that they are going through, the suffering and difficulties are things that you can identify with and you have the best solution to them. that's where republicans -- my issue sometimes, as we talk too much like accountants and not enough about people who care about their futures. and that's where the republican party has to keep their ears open. we have to learn, wolf. we lost in 2012 not only in the presidential but senate races we should have won with both tea party candidates and with mainstream candidates. >> when will you come up with your recommendations? this new group? >> i'm sorry? >> when are you going to come up with your recommendations to the chairman of the party? >> we're going to do this for three or four month. i think our recommendations will go to the chairman in the late winter, early springtime.
>> we'll be anxious to find out what you come up with. ari fleischer, thank you very much. >> thank you, wolf. still ahead, a christmas concert attended by president obama and performance by si. it's lots of things. all waking up. ♪ becoming part of the global phenomenon we call the internet of everything. ♪ trees will talk to networks will talk to scientists about climate change. cars will talk to road sensors will talk to stoplights about traffic efficiency. the ambulance will talk to patient records will talk to doctors about saving lives. it's going to be amazing. and exciting. and maybe, most remarkably, not that far away. the next big thing?
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firsthand look at a pop culture phenomena and got controversy along with it the check this out. the president of the united states is shaking the hand of psy. nischelle turner has more of what is going on and why eyebrows were raised. update our viewers. >> definite eyebrow raising. it's almost impossible not to have heard his song "gangnam style." he performed at the concert attended by president obama but his appearance was slouded in controversy because a performance video by psy shot eight years ago of a song called "dear america" popped up online. he calls for the death of american troop serving in iraq. this was not long after the news of the slaying of a south korea hostage. i want to give you an idea of why this has struck such a chord
with people. cnn was able to translate the words and they are pretty shocking. the song goes in part, k those f'ing yankees who have been torturing iraqi captives and goes on to say, kill them slowly and painfully as well as their daughters, mothers, daughter-in-laws and father. you can see why this is getting a lot of attention. he apologized on friday and said while it's important to share our opinions, i understand the sacrifices american servicemen and women have made for democracy and freedom in my country and around the world. he also added that the song was part of a deeply emotional reaction to the war in iraq and the killing of two korean school girls that was part of the overall anti-war sentiment shared by others around the
world at the time. the school girls were struck and killed by a u.s. military vehicle. psy says he will forever be sorry for the pain that the lyrics caused. >> some believe he shouldn't have even performed at this annual christmas in washington event. tell us about that. >> you know, there was this petition posted on whitehouse.gov and was requested that he not attend but was removed. the show went on. psy actually got to meet the president and he shook his hand like we saw in that picture. >> kate and i were at the event. it's going to be televised december 21st, 8:00 p.m. friday on our sister network. i go every single year. >> i look forward to it every year. >> i watched the president. >> you were sitting close to him, yeah. >> he was with the first lady and their two daughters. psy was, as from my spers tech tif, amazing as usual.
>> it's hard not to smile when you see that red bright sequence sweater that he was wearing. >> do we have the video last night here in washington? let's listen ♪ on an open fire, jack frost nipping at your nose ♪ ♪ yuletide carols and -- >> no. this is not the reason why i'm here. let's dance, everybody. come on. ♪ ♪ gangnam style ♪ >> i tell you, he got the crowd going over there. high-powered people in the audience there.
you enjoyed it, right? >> i absolutely enjoyed the performance. he apologized and said he made a horrible his steak. he's a phenomenon. you've got to admit. before we go, can you do a little bit of that for our viewers? i've been practicing all day. >> we both need a more practice. >> we'll be right back.
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mexico as well. senator marco rubio spoke about rivera and her huge fan base in latin america. >> i know today there are millions of people around the world mourning the loss of a singer by the name of jen jenni rivera who was a huge star particularly here in latin america and in the u.s. she died in a plane crash in northern mexico. she was a real american success store. she was born in california to immigrants from mexico. she started working in her father's small record label studio and recorded top hits that made charts around the world. she was recently in florida to receive a billboard awards and performed at the billboard awards. my mom is a huge fan of hers and kind of the equivalent of "the voice" on telemundo. she was a singer in a genre of
music dominated by males and brought a powerful voice to that genre where she sang, frankly, about her struggles to give her kids a better life. her death is a tragedy at a young age and hundreds of people are mourning her loss. she's survived by her five children and two grandchildren and our prayers go out to her that god may grant her the peace to deal with this difficult circumstance. >> she was 43 years old.voice. >> certainly a great tragedy. meanwhile, tearful apologies today from the two australian deejays who made last week's prank call to the duchess of cambridge's hospital. the nurse who took the call and gave out personal information about the pregnant duchess later died in an apparent suicide. the australian radio network is shutting down their show. and max foster is joining us from london. what are these two deejays saying?
>> well, they're saying something deeply emotional. they did a round of tv interviews for the australian tv media. and it was pretty hard to watch in places. they finally broke their silence. one of the presenters had to ask if they were stable enough to answer these questions. but they did answer the questions, and here's a bit of sound from one of the interviews they did. >> shattered, gutted, heartbroken, and obviously, you know, our thoughts are with the family and friends of all those affected. and you know, obviously, we're incredibly sorry for the situation and what's happened. and you know, we hope they're doing okay and they're getting support that they need right now. personally, i'm --
got it. >> well, they are under a huge amount of pressure, wolf. if you look at the social mediacmedi mediacmedi media comments on them, the comments on the facebook, is really, really powerful stuff. they didn't intend to kill this nurse, but they are part of this story and they're struggling to deal with it. the radio station's show has been canceled. >> has the nurse's mily, max, reacted? >> the nurse's family is asking for privacy, but they did come up to london today. the british mp is speaking on their behalf. it was another emotional occasion. you saw keith and the husband of jacintha and her two children standing there. you can imagine what's going through their minds. keith is tough on the hospital
here, he talked about how the deejays in australia are getting a lot of support from their bosses. but the hospital hadn't offered support to jacintha's family in the same way, and they need counseling and psychological support. they need media help as well. the hospital denies all this, saying they have offered support, they just haven't had a response from the family. a big blame game, and a lot of people are suggesting a witch hunt against the deejays and a war between the australian media as well. >> thanks very much. >> very, very tough. we'll be right back. can be. for fast, long lasting relief, use doctor recommended gaviscon®. only gaviscon® forms a protective barrier that helps block stomach acid from splashing up- relieving the pain quickly. try fast, long lasting gaviscon®. relieving the pain quickly. capella university understands back from rough economic times.
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here's a look at this hour's hot shots. wisconsin, a cnn ireporter takes a picture of snow-covered trees. in china, christmas tr ornaments are on display. in florida, packages are shipped on what they expect to be the busiest day of the year. and in japan, monkeys cuddle together in the snow. hot shots, pictures from around the world. >> those monkeys in japan, not the only monkeys in the news today. jeanne moos has proof that nothing perks up a hum drum shopping day like a monkey in a fancy coat. >> you go to ikea expecting cheap furniture. >> this is so bizarre. why is there a monkey at ikea. >> there he was running around in an outfit that freaked everyone out. >> it's faux fur, not a shearli shearling. >> double breasted, no less.
the tweets started to fly. anyone lose their monkey at ikea? actually, yeah. the owner was shopping inside the store when monkey managed to get out of his crate and then out of the car. >> all the people were trying to, like, call it towards them, but it was very scared. it was darting all over the place. they were trying to get it away from cars. >> his diaper only detracted a little from what was later described as his favorite jacket. we asked stylist to the stars to critique the look. how stylistish a simien is he i >> i thought for a second it was an editor i saw at fashion week. >> okay, it wasn't at formal as the red carpet outfit worn by the primate star of "hangover part 2" but who dress saes up t shop at ikea? they eventually captured the 7-month-old primate, unfortunately for the owner, this shopping trip ended with a no-return policy. because monkeys are prohibited
as pets, the owner was fined and had to hand over the guy, identified as darwin. he stayed briefly as toronto animal services. >> he's not happy right now. he's having kind of a bad day. >> separation anxiety. he was moved to an ontario primate sanctuary where it's hoped he'll live happily ever after, but his name will live on as ikoo ikea monkey. they describe him as a lover of fashion. a bunny stevens song was dedicated to him. some speculated he headed to ikea in search of swedish meatballs. his image was inserted in an ad for bedroom furniture. as for the jacket -- >> i bet he's going tostart a trend and we'll find a version at h&m next wk.